Anonymous message boards can help women dealing with miscarriage.
It doesn't matter how statistically common it is for a pregnancy to suddenly fail - when push comes to shove, to a mother a miscarriage is the loss of a child, no matter how teeny-tiny he or she might have been. A recent study revealed that women suffering the aftershocks of pregnancy loss or stillbirth turn to the internet to connect with others familiar with their situation.
I can certainly empathize with these women having lost two babies early in pregnancy myself. My friends were completely sympathetic, but naturally at a loss for understanding the full impact of what had happened, having never lost a pregnancy themselves. Much like the loss of a parent, it's simply not something that a person can truly understand until they go through it personally. In a perfect world, none of my friends would ever be able to empathize with my past situation. Sadly, many of them have since become members of this very unfortunate club.
Read More: Remembering Pregnancy and Infant Loss
I found this study interesting because it acknowledges the importance of these resources for women suffering a pregnancy loss. If you go to plain old medical web sites, all you typically find are statistics on miscarriage and vague, unsatisfying explanations for their causes. By comparison, message boards are real women discussing their emotions and personal situations. Some people mind find this to be depressing, but in reality it helps validate the feelings of women who otherwise might feel misunderstood or slighted by people who don't feel comfortable discussing the loss (for the record, I totally understand where these folks are coming from. No one wants to be the person who brings up a sad subject only to reduce a woman to tears).
These forums also provide a bit of much-needed anonymity to women post-miscarriage. It took a very long time for me to be able to discuss my experiences publicly, since the related emotions were so raw and fresh and I couldn't talk about them without turning into a blubbering mess. Now, I can only hope that the experiences of women like me, who have dealt with and moved past our grief, will aid women in the midst of this trauma.
If you or a loved one has experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth, you can expect the normal stages of grief (sadness, anger, acceptance, etc.) to be encountered in the weeks and months following the loss. Don't hesitate to seek the guidance of a professional if you feel it might be warranted.
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